Helping Children Deal with Anger

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Everyone gets angry. It is a strong emotion we all deal with; however, not everyone handles it effectively. Some are highly easy-going and let life’s obstacles roll off their shoulder, and some react to life’s difficult moments. The problem is that children, more often than not, are not taught effective strategies to deal with their anger, so they react to their situations instead of stopping and thinking about what the best solution is.

Children need to know that:

1) Everyone gets angry. This is normal.

2) You cannot control the people or situations that make you angry. You can control what you do with your anger.

3) Negatively handling anger will lead to negative consequences, reputation, and poor self-image.

4) When you are angry: (a) remain calm; (b) stop and think about what you should do and what will happen when you do it, and (c) learn from your mistakes. If you lose control and negatively handle your anger, figure out what you did wrong so that you can learn from your mistakes.

5) Know your signals that tell you you are getting angry. This way, you can prevent yourself from losing control.

6) Do not allow anger to control you. You have the power to control your anger.

Strategies to Try

• Stop, think and make a plan: Know what to do when you do get angry. Prepare yourself.

• Remove yourself from the person or situation that is making you angry.

• Go to a quiet place until you have calmed down.

• Count to ten and take deep breaths: This allows you to calm yourself down, relax your body and regain your thoughts to handle your anger positively.

• Talk to someone about what is making you angry. It is important to let out the anger building up inside you. It will make you feel better. You will feel better and be less likely to blow up at the wrong person, getting you into trouble.

• Anger equals energy: Use your anger as a form of energy. Use your anger to energize yourself and motivate yourself to do something positive. Channel your anger into something that you are doing. If you are skating, use your anger to skate faster. If you are studying, use your anger to study harder. It is possible to turn a negative into a positive. Use your anger wisely.

• Writing your feelings down sometimes helps get the anger out.

• Exercise helps you get your anger out in a positive way. Ride your bike around the block, call your friends or organize a game. If you eliminate your anger by exercising, you will feel better and be able to stop and think positively about handling the situation that made you angry.

• Time and space: Put time and space between you and what makes you angry. This will allow you to calm down, relax, stop and then think about handling your anger.

Anger is a compelling emotion, but it is an emotion we can control if we choose to. The first step is learning effective strategies that will help us be successful. The strategies mentioned in this article are available in Scott Graham’s Heroes of Hope book on the Kids 4 Kids website.

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